Sunday July 1, 2012.
Five bikes. Six riders. This trip has been loosely planned for a couple of months. Four co-workers/friends/riding/racing buddies and two wives making the ride. Two wives, two kids, one neice, two pickups, one enclosed trailer for a support staff.
Crew consists of:
No real plan. No route set in stone. Barely enough money. Plenty of time.
The bikes will carry only rider(s), full camel-bak, trail food, and extra gas. Going to need extra gas.
We leave from my driveway in Stagecoach, Nevada, 7:30ish in the AM. We go east on US Hwy 50 tof two miles then hit dirt. Ten minutes later, we have our first, and only, breakdown of the trip.
Thr XR6 was outfitted with an Acerbis 6 gallon tank shortly before leaving. A small amount of varnish loosened up in one of the lines below the petcock, causing some blockage. Carb removal, float bowl removal, new fuel line, clean jets, and back on the road. The XR Valdez is running just fine.
We continue east along the Carson River to US 95A, slab it for a mile, then back to dirt. Twenty five miles of graded road and we are at Top Gun Raceway. A few more miles of slab to the south. Ah, back to dusty dirt. A quick look at Lee Hot Springs.
Not much more than a small hole in the ground with boiling, bubbling water in it.
Oh yeah, and some kind black duck that had too much to drink prior to slipping into the boiling water.
Riding again. Now is where the vastness of the Silver State becomes obvious. No pavement. No people. We leave behind a fenced area belonging to the Fallon Naval Air Station. A bombing range. No bombing going on at the moment. Heading toward Rawhide, NV. The old town no longer stands due to modern mining expansion. Lots of old mining sites everywhere we go.
We get on a "road" constructed for the installation of an underground gas line. What do you know, it's called Gas Line Road. Get it? It is in pretty good shape considering it has not been maintained in years. There are a few sections covered in a couple feet of blow sand. Steering with the back tire through this shit. Lots of room to ride. No fences, no speed limits, no rules, no traffic, no people. This is exactly why we do this. Everyone is having fun and the bikes are running just fine. Our only planned gas stop for today is in Gabbs, NV. Going to need more juice to continue. Gabbs comes into view, and it takes a long time to reel in. Man, there is a lot of room out here. One gas station in town. Let's get some.
Rats. It's Sunday. Dilema. Lunch time.
We take advantage of some nearby shade and eat. After a short conversation with the innkeeper at the local bar, he assures us that our chances are good to purchase some fuel. Sigh. After church, of course.
The nice chuch lady who owns the gas pumps just so happens to own the shade we are borrowing while lunch is being consumed. She pulls up in her car, gets out sensing an ambush, and offers us fuel before we ask. With a smile. We ride across the street to fill up. Nice church lady is taking notes, keeping everyone's purchase seperate because there is no cash register at the gas station. It is across the street at the store. She explains there is not enough fuel sold to justify another employee or another register. She takes cash or debit card. Nice church lady is cool.
Riding. A short slab ride over Brunton Pass. Mountains. Woods. Nice. On the way to Berlin-Ichtyosaur State Park. Giant sea-beast fossil/skeleton. Did not stop. Back to dirt. Ione, NV next stop.
The Two-Headed Monster riding the XR600R is happy to be in Ione.
Not much going on in Ione. Onward. Up the canyon toward Ione Summit. We are in part of the segmented Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, gaining elevation, temperature is dropping, all is well. Ione Summit is behind us, we are heading toward Yomba Indian Reservation, then north up the Reese River Valley. Ranching. Pasture. Cows. Open range. Antelope. Dirt roads. A lot of dirt roads. The wonderful thing about Nevada is that there are adventures all around you. It would take a lifetime to explore all the roads, canyons, springs, creeks, mine sites, ghost towns. No worries now, hours of uninterrupted riding. Have not passed a car or pickup. Have not seen a human. Cell phone is off. Don't have monkey butt. Fuck yeah.
We need to turn east. We need to cross the Toiyabe Mountain Range. We head up Big Creek toward Kingston Summit.
Looking west to Reese River Valley from west of Kingston Summit. 8680'.
The pass is crossed. Best views of the day. Kingston, NV is reached.
We have more to see today today. Next stop, Spencer's Hot Springs. We hit the pavement again for a few minutes and head North on SR376. Guess what? Only two cars in ten miles of state highway. We considered camping at the hot springs tonight during the planning stage. Sounds good, right? Tired dirty people, free camping with benefits, soak, food, sleep.
We arrive at Spencer's Hot Springs. Wind is cranked up. No sign of the support babes. Water is way hot. Shade is nonexistant. Options. We back track to the Hwy 50/SR376 Jct. Perfect timing, we find the babes. Camping is only a few miles away at Bob Scott Campground. We invade the group site. Many tables. Running water. Flush toiltes. Shade. Bike prep area. Only 8 bucks. Winning.
Menu is chili, hot dogs, fruit, green salad, bread, cookies, cold milk, gatoraid, water. More water.
Trip odometer tells me we had fun.
Day one. Done.